Creating spreads is fun. Even when you don’t have a particular question, but you feel like playing with your cards, you can create a spread inspired by the deck that you are using. This is an interesting way to get to know a deck and may reveal some wisdom that you didn’t know you were looking for.


This spread was inspired by the Tarot of the Secret Forest, which is a fascinating double-sided deck. It allows us to explore a wonderful world of hidden treasures and surprises. When Lucia Mattioli created this deck, she was thinking about a certain Japanese wisdom that that says insects are born from decomposing vegetation and are therefore the precise thing that should be there at that time.

In a similar way, our present moments are created by the alchemy of everything in our lives at that moment. But often we cannot see the good or rightness in a situation; we just see the bad. We feel lost in a forest but wish to be in a lovely garden. This deck poses the question: where does the forest end and hidden garden begin? This spread helps us understand that they are one. Only by slowing down and carefully examining things with our hearts as well as our eyes, can we see the truth.



1. Trees

This is what you fear or don’t like about your situation, what you think is hiding your garden.

2. Faerie

Something you should believe in and accept in your heart in order to see the beauty around you.

3. Gnome

Something you can do to feel more at home in your situation and even cultivate and nurture it.

4. Flower

Something of beauty or value that you either don’t recognize as such or that you are overlooking.

5. Bramble

Something that you are obsessed about or fixated on in a negative way that is hindering you.

6. Garden

The garden you will find when you open your eyes to the wonders that are already around you.


Exploring the Spread

Compare cards 1 and 5, looking for a common theme. See how cards 2 and 3 help change the focus of cards 1 and 5. Relate cards 1 – 5 to card 6 for a full picture of the situation. Because this is a double-sided deck, try also flipping over cards 4 and 5 to see a different view of them. If you feel you can’t see the thing of value in your situation (card 4), flip it over to see if that helps—it may further illuminate the interpretation or it may show you how you are viewing it negatively. When flipping card 5, see if it helps you see a positive side to something you consider negative.


Written by Barbara Moore
The tarot has been a part of Barbara Moore’s personal and professional lives for over a decade. In college, the tarot intrigued her with its marvelous blending of mythology, psychology, art, and history. Later, she served as the tarot specialist for Llewellyn Publications. Over the years, she has ...